Do Your Research

While attending the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) this summer, I had the opportunity to speak to a number of authors. Some of these authors were ones that had chosen to use a subsidy publishing house to self-publish their books.

A subsidy publishing house is one that charges the author to publish a book. This type of publishing house makes their money off of publishing books (paid by the author), not selling books.

Here are a few things these authors shared with me:

“I would not go with that publishing firm again. Next time I think I will do the publishing myself.”

“The publishing house I used did not offer me distribution for my book.”

“The publishing house I used gave me a great distribution package price and they don’t charge restocking fees for returned books.”

When I heard the last statement, I hated to be the one to break the news to this author. But I did. I told this author that not charging a restocking fee for returned books was not a novel thing.

Any company can do what this publishing house did— make what they offer sound good to someone who does not know better. At Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) we could advertise that if you join the association, you get our monthly newsletter for free!

Sounds good doesn’t it? Sure it does. However, it is standard practice for associations to offer their newsletter free to their members.

Jane Friedman, former publisher of Writer’s Digest, recently said, “Unfortunately, many people seeking help are not well-informed, don’t have the patience to research their options, and end up writing a big check to someone to make the headache go away.”

Do your research before you spend your money. Whether you are looking to buy printing, distribution, design or marketing services, talk to a couple of companies and other publishers or authors to find out what is usual and customary.

Learn what is standard and what is not. That way you won’t think you are getting a stellar deal when you are not.

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Want to Publish Your Book? Cut Out the Middle Man!

The recent news is full of a certain large Christian publishing house starting a “self-publishing” (vanity press) imprint. The publishing house claims they want to help authors who can’t find a traditional publisher (which they are). Critics are saying that the publishing house just wants another way to make money.

The publishing industry is suffering. Books, once considered recession-proof, are no longer selling well in the current economy. Book reading is declining in our country. The number of books published each year continues to increase, making the competition for book sales stiff.books

One recent survey found that 81 percent of people feel that they have a book in them and that they should write it. With the advent of print-on-demand and digital printing technology, the cost to publish a book has come within reach for the average American.

The number of authors choosing to finance the publishing of their own books increases each year. With so many authors self-publishing, the traditional royalty publishing industry, looking for a way to boost their revenues, is turning to opening “self-publishing” imprints.

Among Christian publishers, Bethany Press led the way with Believers Press at the beginning of 2009. B&H, in partnership with Lifeway, joined the trend this summer and announced the opening of CrossBooks at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS). Now Thomas Nelson, not wanting to be left behind, has joined with Author Solutions to open WestBow, their vanity imprint.

So, as an author who wants to publisher your own book, how do you choose? Which one is the best option?

Let me tell you: Cut out the middle man.

Start your own publishing company. Publish the book yourself.

Every one of these “self-publishing” imprints of a large traditional royalty publishing house is offering the service because they want to make money. That means that you pay them not just to publish your book, but for their profit as well.

Why pay a “self-publishing” imprint to publish your book when you can publish it yourself? Here are some great reasons to publish your book yourself:

  1. It’s cheaper.
  2. You retain more control over the look and feel of the final product.
  3. You start earning money quicker from book sales.
  4. Either way you and you alone are responsible for marketing your book.

If you want to consider publishing your own book, but don’t know where to begin, then purchase my audio presentation (with outline) on how to publish your own book. The cost is just $6.00 and the presentation provides you with the basic information you need to publish a book yourself. Click here to order the presentation.


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